Imagine that law enforcement officers arrested you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. This is your first offense; as such, it is a learning experience. You are about to discover unusual legal terms such as “rebuttal presumption.”
How will this affect your case?
Facing two matters
In the state of Georgia, there are two ways for you to run afoul of DUI laws. First, a law enforcement officer could determine that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol. Second, you could face a charge of DUI per se, which refers to the results of a chemical test showing that your blood alcohol content level is at least .08%, the legal limit for drivers. Here is where “rebuttable presumption” becomes a factor.
What the term means
Simply stated, the phrase “rebuttable presumption” means that evidence presented can rebut or contradict the presumption of guilt. For example, you may take medication that caused a high reading when you submitted to a breathalyzer test. On the other hand, the machine may not have been calibrated correctly, thus presenting a faulty BAC reading.
How penalties work
Upon your arrest for DUI, you will face criminal penalties that include a fine of up to $1,000, suspension of driving privileges for up to a year and possible jail time of up to a year. Separately, you will have to deal with your license suspension by attending a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles, at which you may qualify for a provisional driver’s license. Remember that whatever happens at the DMV will not affect your case before the court and vice versa.
If police arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol, explore your legal options without delay. Your legal team will ensure that you understand both court and DMV procedures and will work diligently to protect your rights. Rebuttable presumption may indeed have a bearing on the charges, but in any event, the goal for your advocate will be to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.